Wednesday, September 29, 2010

1000 Fans!

Wow!  I am just completely blown away by all the support... Apple Tree House has surpassed the 1,000 Facebook Fans milestone... I am amazed how the word has spread about my little dolls.  To thank everyone for their support, I would like to do a Giveaway here on the blog, as Facebook has some pretty strict rules (and I do not want to get the Fan page shut down!).   I have had inquiries about a Fan Designed Doll Giveaway, and this seems like the perfect time to do one!  The prize package will include:

  • Fan Designed Doll -- On Facebook, I will post an option (the first one will be skin tone, then other options will be hair color, eye color, etc).  You will have time to cast your vote, until it is time so select the next option.  Then when I am done with the doll, you will have the option to comment on the blog to enter to win her. 
  • An African Bead doll bracelet
  • Some other surprises!
And a few more surprises along the way!  I will start the voting on the skin color tomorrow on the Facebook Fan Page (link on the right).  I am so excited, this is going to be so much fun!!  Thanks again to all the friends of Apple Tree House for all of their support and encouragement along the way.  XOXO Debra

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Moving on...

This will be the last time I talk about this subject… too much time and energy has been devoted to this matter already, but I would like to put it to rest peacefully.

I knew when I decided to offer the doll making kits it was a possibility that someone might dissect the materials in an effort to gain insight into how I do it. Written disclaimers, licensing agreements, non-compete agreements and copyrights on artistic creations are tricky things, as is intellectual property. I have said in the past that the basic patterns for Waldorf dolls can be easily obtained in books and on the internet. There will be many more doll makers in the future who will also use the same basic patterns and concepts. The originality in Waldorf dolls lies in how the concepts are put together.   I make no specific claim to any of the basic concepts or patterns, just my brand and what it has come to be known for.

I have been contacted by the other doll maker and she has stated that the pattern is her own; she said she has been making dolls for years. I believe in taking people at their word, even when appearances may indicate otherwise. I believe that she honestly did not realize that it might look bad on her part and give the wrong idea to buy a kit then decide to make very similar dolls to sell.

I had received many, many emails about the other dolls before I wrote my original post and was hoping to avoid any controversy, which is why I will not name the other company.  I bear no ill-will; I can only hope that all other doll makers continue to come up with their own looks and concepts that they can be proud of. There is plenty of room for all individuals :)   XOXO Debra

Friday, September 24, 2010


This post is very hard for me to write.  I have received a lot of e-mails from friends of Apple Tree House asking about another doll maker...wanting to know if I had hired someone to help me, had I seen the dolls that seemed to look a lot like Apple Tree House dolls.  Honestly, I didn't think too much of it at first, Waldorf dolls are all mostly made from the same, simple pattern.  Then I saw a picture.  Something didn't sit quite right with me.  I saw the shop name and something was familiar, but still a bit different.  I didn't think about it again until I got some more e-mails, then I decided to dig a bit.  I am very sad to say that this doll maker bought one of my doll making kits in August, and in September started selling her own 10-11 inch Waldorf dolls.   The doll making kits were always intended for one special purpose:  to give a mama a chance to make a special doll for her little one using the same high quality supplies that I do, using some of my secrets to make it easier for her, so she would enjoy the process and love the results and be able to bring joy.  Seeing this happen, after all of the time and work and effort I put in to putting together the "perfect" kit, completely breaks my heart.  Theft of intellectual property is a big deal.  If you have recently purchased a kit, please remember that this kit is for personal use only.  Please also remember that all Apple Tree House Dolls will have an apple birthmark, that is how I sign them so you know it is real.

There are a lot of other lovely doll makers out there, I would never want to discourage anyone from buying any particular brand of doll.  I love seeing what each doll maker brings to the table.  Please support the true artists that have taken the time to develop their own patterns, looks, and methods, use the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, and have the highest ethical standards.

Individuality is Healthy.

XOXO Debra

Monday, September 20, 2010

50th Blog Post

I can't believe that I have had 50 posts on the blog already!  Who ever knew I had so much to say? (WINK!)

Last week was something else... my 100th sale, more kits, more custom slots.  I also had a super experience getting to "know" one of my all time favorite children's book authors, Peter H. Reynolds.  I had decided a while back that I wanted to make a doll based on our family favorite book, "The Dot".  I thought it would be fun to make that doll to coincide with International Dot Day on September 15th.  I made my mark, and here is where it took me:

I am so happy with the way Vashti turned out!  Believe it or not, this is the first doll I have ever done with bangs.  She is so very sweet... she has watercolor rainbow yarn in her hair.  I had an idea to auction Vashti to benefit a new Elementary School in my town and I wanted to sweeten the deal a bit, so I contacted Peter's company to see if he would be willing to sign a book to include in the auction package.  Many of my fans were kind enough to make a plea on his Facebook page in my behalf.  Much to my surprise, Peter contacted me HIMSELF and has agreed to send a book!  I am so very excited to be able to do this for the new school.  I will be hopefully getting the auction up and running on Ebay in the next week or so,  please check back here and on the Fan page for updates.  If you have never read the book, I highly recommend it for kids of all ages, the message is universal and really transcends all ages.

I have been also winding up the September customs... there is just one left to go out.  I will be gathering supplies for all of the kits and hope to have them out in about a week's time, then I will be putting more Ready To Go Home (R2GH) dolls in the shop as I work my way through the new batch of customs.  I am also looking into several options for producing t-shirts with the Apple Tree House slogan and original artwork by Stephanie Corfee and hope to be able to share that soon as well!

Thanks again for all of your support  XOXO Debra

Monday, September 13, 2010

What happened to the first half of September?

How did this happen?  We are almost 1/2 way thru the month, and I haven't posted even once?!?!
I guess I must have been busy.... :o)

Here's a pic of the last batch of girls....

Lucy is going to live in NY with Lea and Daisy

Mary Ellen is going to live in MI with Melissa and Astrid

Susanna ( I can't announce where she is going to live yet!)

For this week, the first things I will be finishing up are Vira's custom (an adorable brown eyed girl) and the Vashti doll inspired by the character in one of my favorite kids books, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds in celebration of International Dot Day.  If you haven't ever read this book, I highly recommend it, the message is so powerful and good for people of all ages!  The custom dolls for Mary and Amy are also nearing completion... it would be so hard to part with these cuties if i wasn't sure that they will be oh so loved in their new homes.   I will post pics as the dolls are done.

In honor of International Dot Day (see the Facebook page for more details) and the spirit of creating something,   I will make 3 more 10 inch doll making kits available on Wednesday, September 15th at 10 pm EST.  Kits require some sewing expertise and even more patience.   Please have an idea of what you want for skin, hair, and eye colors so I can get the kit together and shipped ASAP... I will send you a convo shortly after purchase to discuss details.  I will be placing my last yarn orders this week!

Now, on to a subject lots of you have been asking about...  customs!  I will reopen a few more slots for   10-11 inch custom dolls on Thursday, September 16th.  Since the last upload went so nicely, I think I will try something a little different for custom doll slots this time... e-mail me at
 between 4pm  and 8 pm EST with the following info:

  1. Your Name

  2. Your Etsy Name

  3. The skin tone you would like (light, medium, or dark)

  4. The base hair color (blonde, light brown, dark brown, red, black)

  5. All curly, no curly, or curly bits (Apple Tree house Style)

  6. Eye Color

  7. Favorite Colors so I know what colored bits to put in the hair and what to look at for clothing

  8. If there is anything you absolutely MUST HAVE or  DO NOT LIKE
I will not be able to make any changes, changes take a lot more time than you would think and take me away from doll making, so think it over before you send your e-mail! 

At 8pm EST on Thursday, I will print out all the e-mails then randomly choose some to make.  Reserved Custom Listings will be set up in the shop that evening with a $40 deposit (the balance will be due on completion, custom dolls will be $115-$135)  The dolls will be completed by November 15th. 
You will have 24 hours to pay for your Reserved Custom listing...if it goes over 24 hours, your spot will be offered to someone else. 

I would also like to say Welcome and give a very special Thank You to Kristina...
She is the new page moderator on my Facebook page!  Many of you have greatly enjoyed the pics and fun things that Kristina has posted about Tatiana, now everyone can enjoy her adventures. 

Tatiana loves sparkly things...

Have a great day!  XOXO Debra